Staff Attorney

Juvenile Law Center advocates for rights, dignity, equity and opportunity for all youth in the child welfare and justice systems.

Founded in 1975, Juvenile Law Center is the first non-profit, public interest law firm for children in the country. Through litigation, appellate advocacy and submission of amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs, policy reform, public education, training, consulting, and strategic communications, we fight for children who come into contact with the child welfare and justice systems. Widely published and internationally recognized as leaders in the field, Juvenile Law Center has substantially shaped the development of law and policy on behalf of youth. We strive to ensure that laws, policies, and practices affecting youth advance racial and economic equity and are rooted in research, consistent with children’s unique developmental characteristics, and reflective of international human rights values. Current issues can be found here.

Position Purpose

The staff attorney will work on projects in many of our work areas, collaborating in a highly collegial atmosphere with attorneys, communications, development, and operations staff, and in partnership with colleagues around the state and country. The work will include litigation, policy advocacy, public education, media advocacy, legal and non-legal writing, training, technical assistance, coordinating state or national reform efforts including organizing and facilitating meetings, and other duties as assigned. We are committed to equity and inclusion internally and in our work. The ideal candidate will have some experience raising creative and effective civil rights arguments to challenge inequities in public systems. We value youth voice and the ideal candidate should also be able to work alongside youth advocates to further our mission. The job will require some travel in Pennsylvania and nationally.

Essential Functions (include, but not limited to):

  • Think strategically about opportunities to advocate for child welfare and justice systems that are developmentally appropriate, racially equitable, and supportive of youth, families and communities
  • Engage in impact litigation and appellate advocacy to shape the field of youth law, including drafting memoranda, motions, and briefs as well as oral advocacy and trial participation as needed
  • Engage in policy reform efforts, including analyzing statutes and regulations, drafting fact sheets and publications, and convening key stakeholders
  • Provide public education at conferences, convenings, and meetings
  • Provide technical assistance to lawyers, social workers, advocates, and other stakeholders on child welfare and juvenile justice issues

Responsibility Level:

The Staff Attorney reports to the managing attorneys overseeing each of Juvenile Law Center’s litigation and policy advocacy program areas.


  • J.D. required
  • At least three years of experience in juvenile and criminal justice, child welfare, or a closely related civil rights field
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing children’s rights, civil rights, and racial and economic justice through impact litigation, appellate advocacy and policy reform
  • Exceptional research, writing, and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to work collaboratively with people from different backgrounds, life experiences and levels of legal training
  • Superb interpersonal, effective communication, time management, and organizational skills
  • Curiosity and eagerness to continue learning new skills, grow professionally, and take on new challenges
  • Demonstrated meticulous attention to detail along with outstanding initiative, analytical and critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Proven ability to work independently with excellent judgment and professionalism
  • Able to prioritize requests, track and manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and meet deadlines


Salary is commensurate with experience. Juvenile Law Center offers excellent health care benefits, disability insurance and life insurance.

To Apply

Send cover letter describing interests and experience, a resume, list of three references and a writing sample in a single PDF to:

Human Resources
Subject Line: Staff Attorney Application

As an equal opportunity employer, Juvenile Law Center strives to be an inclusive space that affirms and celebrates the diverse backgrounds, learned and lived expertise, and individual perspectives of our staff. We are committed to building a diverse staff and are dedicated to uplifting the voices of under-represented communities as it pertains to race, color, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital or parental status, disability, religion, national origin, and/or child welfare or justice system involvement. We do not discriminate or exclude prospective employees based on criminal backgrounds or ex-offender status.

Applicants striving to advance equity for youth in the child welfare and justice systems, who fit into any under-represented group, are encouraged to apply and self-identify during the application process.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until January 11, 2019.